New Extended Essay

Submitted By meganspicer97
Words: 4056
Pages: 17

To What Extent Should Adolescents Be Medicated For Depression?
Megan Spicer: (003947-0077)

Supervisor: Mrs. Ivey
Word Count: 3,583

Table of Contents 2
I. Abstract 3
II. Introduction 4
III. Too Risky For Adolescents 5
IV. Different Forms of Treatment 7
V. Medication Works for Most 9
VI. Adults vs. Adolescents 11
VII. Conclusion 13
VIII. Bibliography 15

Abstract The major question that this research paper is examining is to what extent should adolescents be medicated for depression? There are too many children and teenagers in the world who are being placed on strong medications without knowing the full effect it can have on their mind and bodies. Within this essay, the downside of antidepressants is explained, but so are the advantages they can bring. Also outlined are the other options of treatment for and why it is so different for an adult to be prescribed medication versus a young child or an adolescent. It has been concluded that although it is proven for strong medications to be harmful when given in high doses or to children that are too young, it can also be beneficial and other options need to be considered before taking the medication step. The major conclusion is that it all depends on the person and how it will affect their body.

Introduction Depression is an affective mood disorder that affects millions of people in the world and interferes with their everyday lives. Depression is defined by feelings of sadness, loss, anger, or frustrations that interfere with everyday life for weeks or longer. Although there are stages within this disorder in which people may feel better, there are certain treatments in which depression symptoms can be prevented which will be explained later. However, if depression is left untreated, depressed adolescents are at high risk for school failure, social isolation, promiscuity, "self-medication" with drugs or alcohol, and suicide (Wingert, 2002). The major source of treatment that most people seem to resort to is medication, especially adolescents. According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2012, 28.5% of teens were depressed and 15.8% had seriously considered attempting suicide (King, 2012). This is a serious problem considering teenagers have such a long life ahead of them and they are only thinking about the problems they have now. During research done in British Columbia, it was found that the total number of children under 18 who received an antipsychotic prescription increased to 5,791 in 2011 from 1,583 in 1996--a nearly four-fold jump (Kirkey, 2013). The doctors who were administering these drugs claimed it was a “grab-bag” method for those who suffered with depression; the children who received the most amount of prescription were as young as six years old. Prescription medications also do not prevent this disorder; they simply alleviate the symptoms and make coping easier. Although medication has its benefits to curing the side effects of depression, drug therapy is too dangerous and strong to be used on adolescents and children, and other options should be considered before resorting to drugs.

Too Risky for Adolescents Drug therapy is very serious and is also very dangerous, so it takes close examination and considering before making the decision to place a child on prescriptions. Even the government hides the fact that antidepressants make children more violent and don’t always work. Studying the Food and Drug Administration’s views on prescriptions, it was discovered that the FDA, maintaining its position that these drugs were valuable, repeatedly urged manufacturers of antidepressants not to disclose to physicians and the public that these drugs had been found no more effective than placebo and sometimes were found to incite dangerous behaviors. The FDA's own researcher, whose job is to assess the safety of medicines, upon reviewing 22 studies of antidepressants, found that